Local Citizens Report on Urgent Health Needs due to Oakville Hospital Move

Interim Care Clinic requested prior to establishment of Family Health Care Hub.

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Local Citizens Report on Urgent Health Needs due to Oakville Hospital Move

About the Author

Dave Gittings

Dave Gittings

Councillor Dave Gittings and his wife Susan have resided in Ward 3 for the past 25 plus years. Their three children attended Chisholm, EJ James Public School, and Oakville Trafalgar High School. Recently after a 30-year career in advertising management at the Toronto Star, this is Dave's first term as Town & Regional Councillor. Dave has been actively involved in both the business community and with a wide range of Oakville associations and groups.

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On Thursday November 13, 2014, Oakville residents Carol and Grant Gooding met with Graeme Goebelle (Chair), Bill McLeod (C.E.O.), and Liane Fernandes (Senior Director, Health System Development and Community Engagement), of the Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network (MH-LHIN). The meeting stemmed from long held concerns the Goodings had regarding the level of senior care in their community. The implications for seniors, and others in the community, of the upcoming move of Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH) heightened their concerns.

The outcome of this meeting was that the MH-LHIN asked the Goodings to determine the health-related needs of seniors and those of any age who are physically challenged or require complex continuing care, and who reside in South-Central and South-East Oakville. They responded by forming an Ad Hoc Committee to undertake an assessment of the health-related needs of these groups, especially in light of the OTMH relocation.

The purpose of this Report was to determine the needs of Seniors (SRS), those requiring Complex Continuing Care (CCC), and those with Major Physical Disabilities (MPD) in South-East and South-Central Oakville. An Ad Hoc Committee conducted research and a survey. The survey was answered by 1,204 households in which 53% were Seniors, 16% required Complex Continuing Care, and 13% had Major Physical Disabilities.

Since its early beginnings in South-East Oakville, the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH), begun as a private house providing healthcare to the area, has become the predominant centre for health services for all of Oakville. Over many years of volunteering and fund raising for OTMH, the members of the community have developed a strong bond.

A larger, more up-to-date hospital will soon replace the old one, opening in a new area of Oakville in December 2015. The resulting void in local health services in South-East and South-Central Oakville will affect everyone in those areas, but will be especially problematic for the three target groups mentioned above – Seniors, those needing Complex Continuing Care and those with Major Physical Disabilities.

FINDINGS:

  1. Both the survey and the write-in comments (i.e., responses to Question 18) show very strong support for the early installation of the Family Health Hub and the services included in the MH LHIN Concept Proposal presented to the Town of Oakville in February, 2013.
  2. The comments indicated a major concern for the gap in time between the closing of the hospital and the opening of the Hub.
  3. The responders anticipate that when the hospital relocates, the most important problems they face will be a) transportation, b) timely access, and c) inconvenience. Many comments indicated a lack of current information regarding Oakville health and transit services.
  4. More than 95% of the responders have a Family Physician and depend on them for primary care. Some Family Physicians are leaving the area.
  5. Responders who have a visiting primary care giver use private care more than CCAC. (The Committee’s Report on Home Care is forthcoming.)
  6. The comments show a major concern for the lack of Long Term Care in South-East and South Central Oakville.
  7. A number of comments suggest that the old hospital building be used for seniors’ health services.
  8. The comments show a concern for the loss of many services and volunteering opportunities.
  9. There is significant support for a Recreation/Community Centre to be built on the old hospital grounds.
  10. A number of lifestyle comments stated the need to provide green space/parkland when planning the development of the old hospital lands.

RECOMMENDATIONS (In order of urgency):

  1. That the MH LHIN in concert with the Town of Oakville proceed immediately with the planning and installation of a Family Health Hub as outlined in the MH LHIN Concept Proposal of February 2013 to the Town of Oakville.
  2. That the MH LHIN acknowledge the urgency of the gap in health services created by the relocation of the hospital and work with other appropriate players including the Region of Halton and the Town of Oakville to address the immediate need to provide for interim health care services on the site.
  3. That until other accommodation for the provision of health services is established in the area, such services be provided in the old hospital building.
  4. That the MH LHIN identify appropriate health care and other service sector players, (e.g. the Halton Emergency Medical Services), to plan and execute a communication/education strategy for accessing urgent health services in Halton.
  5. That the MH LHIN respond to and take action on the Ad Hoc Committee’s Report on Long Term Care.
  6. That the MH LHIN be advised that the survey comments show strong support for the planned Recreation Centre adjacent to or integrated with the Family Health Hub and the provision of programs for all ages.
  7. That the MH LHIN discuss with the Ad Hoc Committee their May 2015 Research Document Meeting Senior Care Needs Now and in the Future regarding the Social Deficit in South-East and South-Central Oakville.
  8. That the MH LHIN and the Town of Oakville provide for walkable green space in developing their plans for the OTMH site.

In conclusion, the move of OTMH to the North-West quadrant of Oakville will impact health care access and cost for many residents of South-East and South-Central Oakville. This is particularly true for Seniors who no longer drive or have mobility issues, individuals requiring Complex Continuing Care and residents with Major Physical Disabilities.

The key issue is the gap in services that will occur between the closing of OTMH at the Reynolds Street site (December, 2015) and the opening of the proposed Family Health Hub (sometime in the 2020/21 timeframe).

As an interim or stop-gap measure, respondents strongly supported the idea of using the old OTMH building for walk-in clinical services for local residents.

Support across all groups was overwhelming for immediate work on planning and design of a Family Health Hub for the OTMH lands.

This report strongly supports the Family Health Hub concept, and further, that services include primary care, outpatient (walk-in clinical) services, pharmacy, rapid diagnostic and lab services, triage, mental health, health promotion and prevention services, seniors’ services, recreational services and meeting space.

This report was written and prepared by the Ad-Hoc Committee.

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. Gillian Sprawson says:

    I too am concerned about the length of time between the opening of the new hospital and the Hub coming on line at the Old Hospital.
    Its imperative that we, taxpayers,in south east and south west Oakville have more easily accessible health care.

     Reply



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